Skip to main content
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Come see the Northeastern campus in action on Campus Preview Day on June 4! More information »


The Music Department at Northeastern offers a Master of Arts degree in Applied Pedagogy. Pedagogy is defined as the art of teaching. This degree prepares students who already have a bachelor's degree in music for successful 1) college level teaching; 2) in-service elementary and secondary public or private school teaching; or 3) for continuation into doctoral degree work.

Department Website

Admission to the Program 

Students must fulfill the requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research, and then apply to the Department of Music for admission into the Applied Pedagogy program. Requirements for admission to the department include:

  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree in music with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  2. Audition and approvals for 400-level lessons in a major applied instrument/voice.
  3. Two letters of recommendation describing musical background and accomplishments.
  4. Completion of Entrance Placement Examinations in music history and music theory, to be completed before the end of the first semester of enrollment.


Approval for the program is required by the appropriate applied faculty through an audition in the student’s applied area (instrument or voice). Approval at the graduate level (400-level) is required. If a student is not approved for graduate level (400-level), he/she may be asked to enroll at the 300-level as a remedial option and apply for graduate (400-level) at the next audition date. This should be done only if the applied faculty believes strongly that the student has potential to attain 400-level in a reasonable amount of time (one or two semesters).

Graduate Placement Examinations

The Graduate Placement Examinations in Music History and Music Theory are required of all music students entering the graduate program. They are given annually before each semester and must be taken by all incoming students. No student will be accepted into the program until these exams are taken. If deficiencies are noted, the deadline for completing remedial course work or removing deficiencies is one year or 18 credits.

Student-At-Large Status

A student may enroll as a “student-at-large” while awaiting completion of his/her application approval. Up to nine (9) credit hours may be taken and transferred into the program. Note: A student-at-large is not eligible for a Graduate Tuition Scholarship.

Degree Requirements 

Graduate Virtual Community

Graduate music students must participate in the Music Department Virtual Group located through the Groups tab/link in NEIUport where students and faculty share experiences, ideas, and knowledge.

MUS 481 Thesis Seminar

Thesis Seminar is the culminating course for the M.A. degree. This course is generally taken in the third semester of study and is taken after MUS 424 Bibliography has been completed. The student’s thesis advisor and faculty thesis committee acts as a mentor and guide as the student pursues his/her research. This work will result in a submission and approval of the Thesis Proposal, Thesis Paper, Lecture Recital, and completion of the comprehensive exam.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination must be taken at the first possible exam date after the thesis paper is submitted and/or the recital is performed. The dates of the exam are concurrent with the Graduate Placement Exams and are offered the on the first Friday in the month in August, December, and April. The Comprehensive Exam is a written test that evaluates what the student has learned in his/her area of specialty during graduate study. The test consists of two pedagogical/historical essay questions of which you choose one, and three score identifications. Students are expected to write intelligently about the musical content providing a thorough stylistic analysis and name a composer, probable date of composition, and title of the work. The Comprehensive Exam will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. (The completed test must reflect a working knowledge of pedagogical craft, historical and theoretical perspective, and a graduate level writing ability).



MUS 424 Music Bibliography and Research  3 credits
MUS 428 Music Repertoire Seminar  6 credits
MUS 431 Advanced Applied Music Pedagogy I  3 credits
MUS 432 Advanced Applied Music Pedagogy II  2 credits
MUS 481 Thesis Seminar (thesis or recital)  3 credits
MUS 452 Applied Music (400-level)  8 credits
  Music History (select one course)  3 credits
MUS 405 Music Theory - Form and Analysis  3 credits
  Large Ensemble*  3 credits
  TOTAL DEGREE 34 credits

* Participation in a large ensemble for a minimum of three terms is required.

  • Wind and percussion students enroll in Band.
  • Guitar students enroll in Guitar Ensemble.
  • String students [violin, viola, cello, and double bass] enroll in Orchestra.
  • Voice students enroll in University Chorus, Chamber Singers, Opera Workshop, or Musical Theater.
  • Piano students consult piano area head and enroll in Practicum Chambers Music, Piano Ensemble Four Hands or Accompanying.

Master of Arts in Applied Music Pedagogy - curricular TABLE   MAP


Private teaching, and in addition to the course requirements for performances, students will have ample opportunities to perform off-campus with local and regional organizations. While these additional opportunities are extra-curricular, they are highly encouraged for résumé building, and overall musical growth and exposure within the larger musical performance environment.

Careers & Employment 

Private music teacher, or a variety of nearly limitless career options, depending upon the student's drive, desire and imagination. Performing in the applied area of study, working in a professional music or performance-related environment, teaching at the college level, and/or work in other entrepreneurial endeavors related to music. Overall talent will determine the level of success one experiences as a professional performer.

Program Contact Information 

Sasha Gerritson
Recruitment and Scholarship Coordinator
Department of Music and Dance Program
(773) 442-5906

Music and Dance

Back to Top